Apple supplier paves way for third-party Lightning headphones

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EarPods aren't going wireless in 2016.
EarPods might get a Lightning upgrade this year.
Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac

Transitioning to a future when iPhones no longer come with 3.5mm headphone port is going to be a lot easier thanks to one Apple supplier that is ready to make Lightning headphones a thing.

Cirrus Logic, which makes analog and mixed-signal integrated circuits, revealed that it has created a new headset development kit that will allow accessory makers to quickly develop Lightning-headphones that are made for iPhone and iPad.

Gaze upon iPhone 7’s Lightning EarPods in all their glory

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iPhone-7-EarPods
But are they genuine?
Photo: Weibo

New photos of what are claimed to be Apple’s next-generation EarPods all but confirm that its iPhone 7 series will ship without the beloved headphone jack.

The new EarPods, which surfaced on Chinese micro-blogging website Weibo, swap the 3.5mm jack we’ve been using for decades for a Lightning connector.

Apple’s post-3.5mm jack headphones sure sound smart

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patent_style_2
New headphones will switch between wired and wireless modes without dropping audio.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

In advance of the next-gen iPhone, which will reportedly ditch its 3.5mm headphone jack in favor of wireless or Lightning EarPods, Apple had filed a patent application for hybrid headphones capable of switching between wired and wireless options without dropping audio in the process.

Wireless EarPods concept will make you miss tangled headphones

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headphone jack
Wave goodbye to the headphone jack!
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Apple is widely rumored to be ditching its 3.5mm headphone jack connector for the iPhone 7 — in the process doing away with its long-standing white EarPods for a next generation set of either wireless or Lightning ones.

To get a glimpse of what that might look like, one concept artist/prankster recently created a mocked-up an Apple ad for what these easily-losable EarPods could look like.

If you thought it was easy to lose your existing earphones, you’ve not seen anything yet. Check out the pictures below:

Is this our first glimpse of Apple’s Lightning EarPods?

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iPhone 6 headphone jack
Wave goodbye to EarPods that connect to the headphone jack.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

There are plenty of rumors that Apple plans to ditch the 3.5mm headphone jack connector for the iPhone 7 — and now we’ve got our first (possible) photo of the company’s next-gen EarPods, complete with Lightning connector.

The picture first appeared on Chinese social network Weibo over the weekend. Check it out below.